“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Today Christ followers observe Good Friday and remember the day when Jesus was abandoned by the Father. It was on this day Jesus become the final sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
In Robby Gallaty’s latest book, The Forgotten Jesus: How Western Christians should Follow an Eastern Rabbi (Zondervan 2017), he takes us back to the moment on the cross when Jesus utters the first lines of the prophetic message found in Psalm 22.
Gallaty suggests in that moment, Jesus was inviting those who could hear to enter into a deeper understanding of what he was experiencing as he was dying on the cross. As you read this Psalm and meditate on it, may you experience the weight of his death and the glory that followed in his ultimate victory over it. Jesus gave his life to insult, injury, and death so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but be redeemed, ransomed, and set free for all eternity.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning?
My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; by night, yet I have no rest. But you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you rescued them.
They cried to you and were set free; they trusted in you and were not disgraced. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by people.
Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer and shake their heads:
“He relies on the Lord; let him save him; let the Lord rescue him,
since he takes pleasure in him.”
It was you who brought me out of the womb, making me secure at my mother’s breast. I was given over to you at birth you have been my God from my mother’s womb. Don’t be far from me, because distress is near and there’s no one to help.
Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me. They open their mouths against me— lions, mauling and roaring. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me.
My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.
But you, Lord, don’t be far away. My strength, come quickly to help me. Rescue my life from the sword, my only life from the power of these dogs. Save me from the lion’s mouth, from the horns of wild oxen.
You answered me! I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the assembly.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
All you descendants of Israel, revere him!
For he has not despised or abhorred the torment of the oppressed. He did not hide his face from him but listened when he cried to him for help.
I will give praise in the great assembly because of you;
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear you.
The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations will bow down before you, for kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules the nations. All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before him—even the one who cannot preserve his life. Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord.
They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done.
In his closing thoughts, Gallaty reminds us,
“By understanding what Jesus said, who Jesus was, and why Jesus did what he did, we can better understand what drove his followers to lead a revolution that would eventually transcend the sprawling Roman Empire and change the world. They had encountered a man who did things and spoke words unlike any ever seen or heard. They were compelled by their love for this man and felt they had no choice but to proclaim the good news of his life, death, and resurrection to anyone who would listen.” (p.202)
Remember. Respond. Proclaim.
The truth came to you so it could go to someone else.